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Paul Wasicka Optimistic On Future of Pro Poker

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The world of professional poker may have a new rising star, his name is Paul Wasicka, the man who finished 2nd in the 2006 World Series of Poker.

High stakes, no-limit Texas Hold'em is his life.

"It's a passion," he said Saturday, talking by phone from the Rio hotel in Las Vegas.

Wasicka sat down with 8,773 players for the $10,000 buy-in tournament on July 28. Wasicka drew a pair of 10s in the hole, a big hand in head-to-head play. He played slowly, luring Gold in for the kill.

Gold poured millions in tournament chips into the pot. When the community cards came up, Wasicka tried to read his opponent, guessing Gold was struggling to form a straight. Gold had landed a pair of queens, enough for the win.

"There's a difference between instinct and ego, and in this case, I think I played it right."

"I would say in the last two and a half years, I've done something poker related reading books, playing online, talking about hands, watching poker on TV for 8 to 10 hours a day, every day," he said.

"It's a hard lifestyle."

Paul Wasicka is planning to get some rest and relaxatio over the next few weeks. He spent Saturday night packing for a weeklong river trip to Utah's Desolation Canyon with friends, and the one female in his life, his black Labrador, Zoe.

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